Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2015 Contents 4 UWI TODAY -- SUNDAY 3rd may, 2015
In 2010, the United Nations celebrated achieving its Millennium
goal for poverty eradication -- to halve extreme poverty between
1990 and 2015. Its website claims that 700 million fewer people
lived in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990.
Alarmingly, though, 1.2 billion people worldwide are still living
in extreme poverty.
In the Pelham Goddard and David Rudder composition, 'Dus'
in dey face', they speak about the obsessed steelband men (and
women) who, intent on winning the annual Panorama competition,
have no time to eat and exist on nuts and corn in their all night
sessions. For those who live below the poverty line, this option
might even be considered a luxury.
Gregory Aboud, businessman and guest speaker at the
opening of the Conference on Poverty and Opportunity drew
reference to it as he suggested that the system -- not the market -- is
bad and pointed out that other countries have managed to break the
poverty cycle. An e ciently run state, one whose public servants
are accountable and held accountable, is required for free markets
to yield development was his position.
Secondary and university students, UWI academics and
interested persons had gathered at the St. Augustine Campus on
April 15 to examine the phenomenon of poverty and possible
avenues to create opportunities to lever out of it.
This was not the first time that the Sociology Unit had
provided a platform to discuss critical issues. Clement Sankat,
Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor, made the point that these
activities o ered an opportunity to policymakers to listen, to learn
and to inform the process.
Professor Sankat noted that with an "upsurge in the use of
illicit drugs, crimes and other potentially destabilizing factors
of society, one must seriously consider that as poverty increases
there is the likelihood that individuals will turn to crime. Solving
poverty therefore is not merely about giving charity, rather it is
about giving opportunity."
"One sure way of getting out of poverty is through education
and training and hence we must do all that we can, to give at least
the children of disadvantaged homes an opportunity for schooling
beginning with early childhood education. I am therefore a big
supporter of our country's e ort to build our capacity in early
childhood education," he said.
e 2015 participants were set on changing the conversation.
ey sought to answer questions such as why does poverty exist.
What are the consequences and challenges (social, economic and
political, the fear of "stepping out') of poverty? And, how can
the cycle of poverty be broken? Public sector and private sector
perspectives spotlighted avenues available to persons to create
opportunities to take themselves out of poverty.
David Balfour, PhD student, clari ed that objective. e
CONFERENCE ON POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY
"How many other Universities around the world have developed
a partnership that allows another university a firm, physical
presence in its landscape?" is was the question posed by Campus
Principal, Professor Clement Sankat at a sod-turning ceremony on
April 18 at Carmody Road in St. Augustine for the construction
of UWI-Trinity House.
"I am truly pleased that we are partnering with Trinity
College, an institution which has done significant work and
research in areas of culture and the arts (particularly Trinidad's
culture and art forms). is partnership will allow us to leverage
our in uence together, to engage other third parties including
cultural organizations, governments and non-governmental
organizations in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean region, the
United States, the world over. We are positive that our collaboration
will result in positive bene ts for the students and sta of Trinity
College and e UWI; the wider Caribbean region; and in general,
the users and supporters of Caribbean culture and arts around
the world. Today is therefore a great day for Caribbean arts and
culture," he said as he welcomed President of Trinity College, Dr.
Trinity College of Hartford, Connecticut, has had a long
presence in Trinidad via its "Trinity in Trinidad" programme
which a ords opportunities for students and sta from Trinity
and its a liates to spend time in Trinidad on exchanges, academic
visits and other forms of in-country immersion. e programme
is currently housed at a rented residential facility on the periphery
of e UWI St. Augustine Campus.
"Trinity in Trinidad" students have attended classes at e
UWI as part of their academic programme and they have also
participated in co-curricular activities alongside UWI students
in sports, arts and other related areas. Students of the programme
have stayed at UWI St. Augustine campus' Residence Halls.
Selected UWI sta have also collaborated with the college by
teaching "Trinity in Trinidad" courses on behalf of Trinity College.
is collective space will include teaching, research, library,
display and outreach facilities as well as limited accommodation
for visiting Trinity Faculty.
President of Trinity College, Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney and Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat at the sod-turning ceremony
for the construction of UWI-Trinity House. PHOTO: GUYTN OTTLEY
conference, he said, was about identifying opportunities so that
poverty does not mean helplessness or hopelessness. "It also
means opportunity. e poor not only need a hand out, they need
a hand up."
Traditionally, women and children are the most vulnerable.
One student, Katherine Inniss, spoke of the 'new poor' of this
century. Poverty has become one of the main threats to the
wellbeing of an aging population, linked to low income, lack of
pension bene ts, low literacy, poor health and malnutrition (unfpa
2012). Inniss addressed issues such as costs associated with health
care, caregiving and living in one's own space. Add into the mix,
environmental shocks (natural disasters), recreation and leisure
and income security.
Another speaker, David D. Ramjohn of Synergy Resources,
summed it up best:
" ere is no single magic bullet that will eradicate poverty. We
need a, focused, coordinated, comprehensive, judicious system of
context-based and outcome-driven policies and programmes that
capitalize on the strengths of the private and public sectors as well
as civil society and the fourth and h estates to achieve clearly
de ned goals and objectives with meaningful targets.
If we fail, the poor alone will not su er.
Poverty is everyone's business."
Living on nuts and corn from dusk til' dawn
BY MARIA RIVAS MCMILLAN
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